1978 Los Angeles Times: Pasquale’s


Fri., Mar. 3, 1978 Los Angeles Times

Jazz Review

Senatore:  His Own Kind of Ambience

by Leonard Feather
Times Staff Writer

A good ambience cannot make mediocre music listenable, but the right atmosphere can turn a modestly agreeable, swinging performance into a total delight.  That is the lesson to be learned from a visit to Pasquale’s, the Southland’s newest and by all odds most inviting jazz night spot.

Pasquale (Pat) Senatore, who played bass with the Tijuana Brass, is the brains behind the club.  He took over a a room at 22724 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu and converted it into a comfortable setting for concerts not just by the sea, but almost literally on the sea.

Windowed along two of its walls, Pasquale’s offers music by Senatore’s trio, along with an opportunity to walk through a sliding glass door not 20 feet from the bandstand onto a deck from which you may watch the Pacific Ocean lapping at your feet a short distance below.

During his first few weeks, Senatore had such men as pianist George Cables, drummers Roy McCurdy and Tootie Heath.  There are also Sunday matinees at 4 p.m. with such guest soloists as saxophonist Ray Pizzi.

The current incumbents, who play every night except Monday, are a driving, spirited mainstream-modern pianist named Frank Collett, and the outstanding drummer Billy Higgins, whose credits include work with Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins and Herbie Hancock.  Senatore plays upright bass.

The nature of the music they make is indicated by the tunes they choose to perform:  “Alone Together,”  “All Blues,”  Cole Porter’s “I Love You.,” a relaxed “If I Had You” and an arrow-swift examination of Rollins’ “Oleo.”

All three members acquit themselves creditably both as soloists and as part of an obvious compatible team.  The room, by the way, has been provided with a good, in-tune piano.

Senatore plans to expand soon and double his present capacity of 100 plus.  If he doesn’t knock down some walls before summer, the public may well be doing it for him in the rush to get in.  Pasquale’s offers one of those rare jazz settings that speak eloquently for itself at first sight as well as first sound.


“Bassist Pat Senatore will forever hold a place in L.A. jazz history as the owner of Pasquale’s, the jazz outpost opened in 1978 that was perched precariously on the pilings over the Malibu surf.  During its six-year run, Pasquale’s brought in an amazing array of musicians, including Joe Henderson, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Freddie Hubbard, Toots Thielemans, Carmen McRae and Eddie Harris, often with Senatore himself manning the bass chair.”  -Bill Kohlhaase L.A. Weekly 1997

Pasquale’s is “the Southland’s newest and by all odds most inviting spot.”  -Leonard Feather, jazz Critic, L.A. Times March 3, 1978

“Pat Senatore has created the finest jazz club in the L.A. area today.” “5-Stars”  -Lee Underwood, Downbeat Magazine

“PASQUALE’S (22724 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu)-This club is worthy of the highest possible praise.  Owner Pat Senatore put in a long tenure as the bassist for the Tijuana Brass and he graciously invites Los Angeles to come along with him on his well-deserved vacation by providing a venue so comfortable and soothingly beautiful that it would be worth the visit even without his extraordinary musical presentations.

Two of the four walls are windows providing clear views of the Pacific, westward and northward.  The club is literally on the beach in Malibu.  Patrons are provided with access to the balcony that runs along the outside of the main room.  The overall effect is that of having a friend in Malibu who happens to have some very talented associates.  Best of all, musicians seem to love the place well enough to just play for the fun of it.  The evening I was there the Pat Senatore Trio consisted of Pat on bass, Roger Kellaway on piano, and John Guerin on drums.  Kellaway was unwinding from scoring a film and Guerin was keeping his chops up.  Other unbilled participants have included George Cables, Billy Higgins, John Klemmer, Freddie Hubbard and Carmen McRae.” – Rex Butters, BAM Magazine, July 20, 1979
“It was a delightful full moon drive up Pacific Coast Highway to a new jazz emporium named Pasquale’s in Malibu.  This charming and immulate bistro is beautifully located on the beach side and a toss of a Las Vegas silver dollar into the terrific Pacific would be an effortless endeavor.   In many ways it reminded me of the romantic San Remo on the Italian Riviera.”  Lamont Patterson Evening Outlook, Sept., 25, 1981